April 4, 2019
Review by Tim Taylor
Photos by Terry Walsh
Rival Sons Kick Off Feral Roots Tour In Dallas Texas!
Earlier this year, Rival Sons released Feral Roots, which is the best rock release by any band in at least a decade. Their brilliant songwriting, electrifying guitar work, and thunderous rhythms have finally started resonating with American audiences, which has led to their first #1 single in the US and several sold out shows on their current tour of North America. The tour opened with a sold out night at the legendary Trees in Dallas, and it was rock n’ roll perfection.
The show opened with a bang, as Michael Miley pounded out the drum intro to “Back in the Woods”, and the entire room erupted as the rest of the band kicked in. The Sons then kicked our asses with a raucous “Sugar on the Bone”, older favorites “Pressure and Time” and “Electric Man”, and a sultry version of “Too Bad” before pumping the brakes a little bit for the most emotional part of the evening.
The song “Jordan” is the most relatable song in the Rival Sons catalog, as it speaks about the feelings a person deals with when losing a loved one. When you hear it live, it’s impossible to not feel every word, and there was no dry eye in the house when Jay Buchanan belted out the most powerful verse, “There is no death for those who believe”.
As we recovered from that moment, with Scott Holiday wielding a double-neck guitar and Buchanan on an acoustic, the band powered through an awe-inspiring version of “Feral Roots”, and by the time Miley hit the drum fill at the end of the song, we were all just looking at each other in disbelief. The band coasted flawlessly through fan favorites like “Torture” and “Open My Eyes” to the delight of their fanatical followers, but the best part of the show was saved for the end.
As the opening notes of “All Directions” began to play, I found myself getting lost in the mellow beginning, but as soon as Jay let out his signature howl in the middle of the song, and the band went into an incredible instrumental jam featuring Holiday’s coolest riff, it had a dizzying effect on me that was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced at a concert. Before I could recover, the band punched us all in the teeth with the incredible “End of Forever”, the heaviest song from Feral Roots.
The Sons ended the regular set with a sing-along version of their latest single “Do Your Worst”, and as I looked around the room, I wasn’t sure if the exhausted fans could take anymore, but Rival Sons fans are a different breed. As the band came back out on stage, Jay told everyone that he needed our help for the next song. Every voice in the packed house joined in a beautiful rendition of “Shooting Stars” that made the hairs on my arms stand up, leaving little doubt that this is THE song that could make Rival Sons a household name.
The band let loose on the show-closing “Keep on Swinging”, and I noticed a big smile on bassist Dave Beste’s face, as he knew they had just delivered a legendary performance to start the tour. This band is killing it at every show right now, and you have no idea how good they are until you see them live. There are still a few dates on the North American tour that aren’t sold out, and this is a band worth travelling for. This band will no doubt be playing bigger venues on the next run, so go see them now!